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There are already many books about the art of writing. Why publish, or read, another one? This book is an account of my personal journey through the writing of over 200 essays at my original website (2001-2010), Wave of Consciousness. Those essays enabled me to develop a foundation of purpose and style. It is not just the study of grammar and the reading of literature that helped me to learn writing skills, but also the practice of writing. As I wrote, I had to use the dictionary and refer back to my grammar books: as an ongoing refinement of skills. It was a process of learning–about skills as well as topics–by writing about things that mattered to me. The essence of my writing proved to be: (A) inspiration, and (B) revision; and revision depends on skills.

As I wrote my essays on topics of politics, education, the profession of social work, and my daily life, I also occasionally wrote about writing. I have pulled that material together to form About Writing and Reading. My purpose is not to provide instruction–there are plenty of books for that–but to share my developmental process as a writer. The chapters in this book span the years 2002 through 2010. I discovered that the more I wrote, the more I had to master grammar, organization, and style. I am still learning. Creative writing, like reading, is a lifelong journey.

Before moving on to Chapter One, let me add a few words about self-publishing. There was a time when some writers, who could not find a marketable nook with commercial publishing companies, would pay to publish their work in a vanity press. These were companies that would publish any manuscript at the author’s expense. The author could then go to bookstores and try to distribute their books for sale. Now that we have computers and the internet, it is much more common and acceptable for people to express themselves through websites, blogs, or e-books. These forms of self-publishing have become a mainstay of citizen journalism as well as creative expression. Unlike some past writers who were both author and salesman, however, many who write for the internet give it away for free. But, at least, it gets published and it is accessible–unlike vanity press books that might remain in boxes in the garage. (Written 12/01/10)


Some of the material in About Writing and Reading is fictitious: no actual people, places or events are depicted. Any resemblance to actual people (living or deceased) or events (past or present) is coincidental and unintentional. Regarding the non-fictional material, in some instances, descriptive details were modified to prevent any identification of real persons.

How to Navigate This Blog

Look at the upper right column and you will see a list of Chapters.  Click on any chapter you would like to read.  Or, just continue scrolling to the bottom of the page.

Permission to Quote and Reprint

You may quote or reprint any material from About Writing and Reading so long as you give credit to Natalia J. Garland and provide a link to this blog or reference this blog in your bibliography.

Posted on WordPress 04/27/11

Copyright About Writing and Reading 2010 Natalia J. Garland